40June 12, 2013

It turned out to be a relatively nice weekend after all. Once the skies cleared on Saturday, it was nice to be outside the rest of the weekend.

Now that you have your tomato plants in the ground, here are a couple of things that you need to be doing to your plants. If you want to get a larger yield, you can place red plastic mulch around the base of the plants. The red plastic reflects light back up onto the plants. This allows the plants to grow faster and ultimately to give you a larger yield of tomatoes. Your tomato plants also need to be supported with either tomato cages or some type of sturdy stake. Once those tomato plants are bearing tomatoes, they tend to get top heavy and the plants will fall over if you do not provide adequate support to hold up the plant. It is far easier to place your cages or stakes over the plants while the plants are small. Last but by no means least; you should begin a regular schedule of fertilizing your tomato plants. Plants will grow faster, they will set more tomatoes, the tomatoes will ripen faster and the plants will be able to fight off diseases better if the plants have been fertilized on a regular schedule.

Speaking of fertilizing your tomato plants, the same holds true for all of the plants you have put into the garden. It doesn’t matter if it is vegetable plants or flowers, all plants benefit from a regular application of fertilizer. Over the years, I have talked to many a gardener who has said that they are not successful at gardening. Their biggest lament is that the plants just don’t seen to thrive. When I ask them how often they fertilize the plants, they usually reply,” I water the plants”. Remember, plants are a lot like people. Both like to eat! A successful garden is a well-fed garden. Make your first weekend project to fertilize your flower and vegetable plants.

Take a few moments and check the underside of the leaves of your holly plants. Over the weekend, several people brought in leaf sample of holly plants and the leaves had scale growing on the underside of the leaves. This insect can multiply to the point where the holly begins to lose leaves. An application of an insecticide will knock back this pest and allow you to get those holly plants healthy again.

For those of you who have been waiting for their arrival, we got in a shipment of ladybugs and praying mantid egg cases. Ladybugs will eat aphids and other soft body insect that are attacking your plants. The egg cases of the praying mantids are placed in your gardens and when the egg cases hatch out, hundreds of baby mantids will begin to eat other insects that can be destroying your gardens. Both of these beneficial insects are only available for a short period of time each spring. If you want to try either of these natural pest control methods, now is the time to get them.

Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.

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